Zani Gugelmann, the founder and designer behind fine jewelry brand Santo by Zani, creates heirloom-worthy pieces that blend the present-day technologies (3D-modeling) with historical workmanship (hand-crafting). Her first collection in 2008—called “Alma” which means “soul” in Spanish—uses the most precise engineering to transform Victorian orb necklaces into symbolic forms of crosses, pedals, stars, and shields.
“There is something entrancingly romantic and magical about wearing a piece of jewelry that can hold secrets, love or inspirational messages, special moments, and symbols close to the heart,” explains Gugelmann.
Now, however, she’s introduced a new line—a little farther from the heart but equally personal—of shield rings.
Inspired by the timeless design and historical significance of the 19th-century signet ring, this modern iteration combines 18-karat gold with scratch-resistant ceramic and a variety of stones. Each shield lifts to unveil an inlaid diamond at its hollowed core, which acts as a secret that the wearer can choose whether or not to reveal. With such an intricate design, every element, from the hinge to the pivot, cannot be a single millimeter off. Like all of Santo by Zani’s other pieces, the rings (starting at $2,650) are made in New York and available online. Once ordered, each one-of-a-kind ring takes approximately four to six weeks to produce.